Tom Crews resides in Louisville, Kentucky, where he brings over three decades of distinguished coaching and teaching experience to everything he does. In honor of his great successes as a coach, Tom was voted Coach of the Year on several occasions around the country and district levels. As a teacher, Tom holds several educational certifications, including an Indiana Life License Secondary Professional and a Kentucky Life License to teach grades 7-12. During the 2021-2022 school year Tom Crews was honored to receive the teacher of the year award.
Tom attended the Indiana University at Bloomington, a public research university in Bloomington, Indiana where he received his bachelor’s degree. After graduating, Tom went on to earn his master’s degree from Indiana University in South Bend, a sister campus located on Indiana University’s primary regional campus, IU. He enjoyed his time at the university as South Bend has a great combination of extensive resources and a campus location that seems small and intimate for students.
After receiving his master’s degree, Tom Crews spent a great amount of his career as a head basketball coach and pushing young people to find the best versions of themselves in all aspects of life. While teaching at the high school level, Tom enjoys mentoring and inspiring kids at a more cognitive level. Some of the courses he teaches include AP Government, U.S. History, AP Human Geography, U.S. Government, Sociology, Civics, and World Civilization. Tom also teaches students the importance of health and safety through Physical Education, Health, and Drivers Education courses.
As a mentor, Tom has formed lifelong relationships with his former basketball players. He is consistently humbled by his accolades from former students and players, whether they turned towards sports and became Head Coaches and Athletic Directors or chose the academic route towards principals and superintendents’ roles.
Tom Crews enjoys studying current and historical politics outside of work during his free time. He likes to stay as informed as possible, especially given the importance of his influence on the younger generation. Basketball is unquestionably Tom’s favorite sport ever. In his leisure time, though, he likes to hit the golf courses and considers it to be his favorite activity. In addition to these hobbies, Tom likes spending time with his family, friends, and pets.Visit Tom Crews on social media to learn more!
Our Interview With Tom Crews, Educator, and Basketball Coach
Question: What’s the most important thing we should know about you?
Tom Crews: I’m very traditional in my teaching and discipline methods and am very good at it. Most people would consider me a lecturer, but I’m a storyteller of history, constantly getting the students involved in the presentation. That’s what I do best – make history interesting to students. I always try to make each lesson a little better than it was before. Having students tell me how much they have learned and how for the first time, they like history is what motivates me to keep giving it my best effort.
Question: Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.
Tom Crews: Many people, even those who care about you deeply, will give you good excuses and reasons to not follow your ambition when things go wrong. I have ignored conventional wisdom (the “smart thing” to do) many times and succeeded against the odds.
Question: What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?
Tom Crews: Trying to do things that were taught to me by the “experts” even though I knew they went against my best instincts of what works best for me.
Question: What excited you the most about your industry right now?
Tom Crews: I think parents care more now about their children’s education than they have for a while. Not only do they want their child to excel, but they care about what they are being taught. I think it’s important that parents know exactly what’s going on in schools because there is so much that isn’t what they would approve of. Parent oversight can lead to some very positive changes in the field of education.
Question: What concerns you most about your industry right now?
Tom Crews: I think our field is way too quick to adopt new teaching methods that they think will revolutionize education. Most unique ways – that have filtered down from the top (educational universities) are too idealistic and naive. The experts constantly create solutions when there is really no major problem. Our students are being taught what to think instead of how to think. It’s indoctrination. The field of education is undermining American culture with it’s extremist views that go against well-established, time-tested tradition. Also, too much emphasis is placed on student choice, projects, and group work. Expectations for individual achievement of knowledge must drastically increase.
Question: What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
Tom Crews: I’ve been a basketball coach all my life as well as a teacher. My greatest risk has been taking jobs where schools had a long history of losing, and many thought winning was unattainable.
Question: Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.
Tom Crews: I arrive at work about 1 hour early to prepare. I also work hard during my lunch and prep period. I’m very time efficient in preparing for my job.
Question: What tips do you have for getting a seat at the table?
Tom Crews: You have to be well respected for your character, judgment, and courage. Of course, sometimes that will prevent you from getting a seat at the table.
Question: Do you value intelligence or common sense more? Why?
Tom Crews: Common sense. I’ve seen many highly educated people with little common sense, which translates into poor teaching and poor administrative decisions. If a person possesses both, they have a lot to offer others.
Question: What would you consider to be the perfect day?
Tom Crews: A great night’s sleep helps lead to a perfect day. A perfect day means I get to do a little bit of so many things I like to do all in one day. Time playing with the dogs, exercise, golf, reading something I really enjoy, beautiful weather, and a stimulating evening conversing about religion, politics, sports, and other topics with one or a few friends that go on for hours. And obviously good food!